Organized by The Stewart Program for Modern Design, Montreal, Canada Curated by David A. Hanks, Curator of the Stewart Program for Modern Design
Known for its sleek lines and functional simplicity, midcentury modern’s mainstream appeal has propelled it from a fleeting trend to the preferred design aesthetic of today’s millennials and Gen Zs. While the enduring interest in this ubiquitous style—popularized by period dramas like TV’s Mad Men—has transitioned from exclusive high-end boutiques to mass accessibility through big box retailers, how do we reconcile our complex relationship with contemporary design?
Drawn from the renowned Stewart Program for Modern Design, Midcentury to Today charts the captivating story of modern design—from the growing affluence and consumerism of the post-World War II years (and wholesale pursuit of “the good life”) to today’s diverse, technology-driven world defined by globalization—reflecting and clarifying the ever-evolving needs, trends, and values of society and culture itself.
Through the essential design movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Midcentury to Today focuses on the groundbreaking work of visionaries such as Eva Zeisel, Charles and Ray Eames, Dieter Rams, Philippe Starck, Isamu Noguchi, Zaha Hadid, and Olafur Eliasson. With over 120 designs from Italy, Japan, France, Germany, the United States, and Canada, the exhibition spotlights an extraordinary selection of designers, whose pioneering work in a range of media—furniture, ceramics, metalwork, graphics, textiles—has helped to define the look and zeitgeist of our modern world.
Delving into the remarkable origins of iconic objects such as the 1941 CHEMEX and 2002 iMac, Midcentury to Today traces the impact and significance of design in the everyday. By viewing familiar designs in a museum context, today’s audiences will see “ordinary” objects in a remarkable new light, sparking a deeper awareness of the daily choices we make as consumers.
Midcentury to Today takes audiences on a visual journey through seven decades of innovative design, highlighting its profound ability to solve problems (whether practical, ideological, or aesthetic) while transcending multiple cultural boundaries.
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Collection and interpretation
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Number of Works: Approximately 120 designs, including furniture, ceramics, metalwork, graphics, and textiles Security: High security Shipping: IA&A makes all arrangements; exhibitors pay outgoing shipping costs within the contiguous U.S. Booking Period: 12 weeks Tour: January 2022 - December 2024